It’s fight week baby and for the first time in three years the UFC is back in London, England for a hugely exciting fight card.
Headlined by heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall as he looks to crack the top five against Alexander Volkov, the UFC have put some of Britain and Europe’s best talent together on the card for the fans.
But while there are some obvious headlines coming out of the card, here are some thing to look out for that you definitely don’t want to miss.
PADDY PIMBLETT AND ILIA TOPURIA BEEF
There’s a big rivalry brewing between these two hot prospects in the UFC, and the fact they’ve been in different weight classes may not even matter.
Ilia Topuria is an undefeated featherweight contender, currently sitting with a record of 11-0 and scheduled to fight against Jai Herbert at this event. But that fight will now take place at 155lbs, after a botched weight cut most recently.
Pimblett is one of the biggest names to come out of the UK & Ireland since Conor McGregor, with a record of 17-3 after winning his UFC debut in the lightweight division. He will fight Kazula Vargas at UFC London.
But these two have gone back and forth on social media in recent months and even came to blows in the hotel during check-in. If both are able to secure wins, don’t be surprised to see them meet in the octagon against each other before too long.
MUHAMMAD MOKAEV – A STAR WILL BE BORN
There a few undefeated prospects on this card, and one of the most exciting is Muhammad Mokaev in the flyweight division.
After going 23-0 in the amateur scene, Mokaev is now 6-0 (1 no contest) as a professional and will make his UFC debut against Cody Durden during the prelims section of the card.
Compared to Khamzat Chimaev and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the 21-year-old has a very bright future and you don’t want to miss out on the birth of a superstar at UFC London this weekend.
JACK SHORE V TIMUR VALIEV! – FIGHT OF THE NIGHT
Without doubt the fight of the night, and somehow it’s only on the prelims section of the card in the O2 Arena.
Shore is 15-0 and one of the best English talents in mixed martial arts, but he faces the toughest test of his career to date when he takes on the incredibly talented Valiev in their bout at 135-pounds.
Both men are incredibly well-rounded and will look to make an impression, with the bantamweight division one of the most stacked in the entire company. A win would be huge for both, and this should be fireworks. So don’t miss it!
ARNOLD ALLEN – NEXT FEATHERWEIGHT CONTENDER
Featherweight is screaming for a new contender at the top of the division, and Arnold Allen has the chance to make that place his own.
Currently ranked at number 7, ‘Almighty’ will take on Dan Hooker who returns from an exciting run at lightweight back into the division he originally entered the UFC in.
A high-profile win for Allen against a household name like Hooker would see the attention Allen gets rise exponentially, but also make his claims for a title shot far more legitimate.
With Alexander Volkanovski defending his title against Korean Zombie next month at UFC 273 and Max Holloway next in line, a win for Allen sets him up for a number one contender fight later this year to get a crack at gold in 2023.
TOM ASPINALL TITLE CHALLENGE?
The heavyweight headliner, Aspinall will fight in front of a UFC crowd for the very first time despite being 4-0 in the organisation after making his debut in 2020.
Taking on a veteran like Volkov is never easy, but there will be added pressure with the fight being in his home nation and in his first main event.
A win however would see him enter the title picture. Francis Ngannou is unlikely to fight again until the end of the year at best, it opens up plenty of opportunities for those around him.
The likes of Stipe Miocic, Tai Tuivasa, Ciryl Gane and even Jon Jones are hanging around, while Derrick Lewis will be keen to get back to winning ways too. The opportunities are aplenty with a win, but he must get a win first and foremost.